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More than 90 dead in Manila flooding, Christians reaching out

By August 10, 2012

Philippines (MNN) — Flood waters are just starting to recede following heavy rains that soaked Manila, Philippines this week. According to reports, 91 people were killed as 12 inches of rain fell on the city Monday and Tuesday, the heaviest in three years.

Food for the Hungry (FH) has extensive work in the region. Peter Howard with FH says, "In one 24-hour period earlier this week they got a month's worth of rain. It literally flooded the area." He adds, "Manila is a city of about 15 million people. Over 50% of the city was flooded. At least 2 million people have been impacted, and 80,000-90,000 people are in shelters."

Howard says they had no choice but to get involved. "Our staff live in the metro Manila area, so they themselves were impacted. Their homes were flooded. Their family members and churches were impacted. They're also responding in the poorer communities where Food for the Hungry works."

Because the Philippines has a culture of volunteerism, FH is ready. "We have the people. We have the volunteers. The churches are ready to go. So as long as we can come alongside and support them with resources, they're going to take that out and spread the love of Christ through their acts of kindness and generosity into their communities."

FH Country Director Debbie Toribio has been affected, says Howard. "She sent me a picture of her standing in her parents' home which was very much flooded. So she's been engaged–not just helping her own family, but all over the city in the poor communities where Food for the Hungry is working."

While the rains have eased and the water is beginning to recede, that doesn't mean it's over. Howard says, "After a house has been flooded, much of it is destroyed. So there is a lot of work ahead. Our hope is that Food for the Hungry and the local churches can be a source of encouragement and hope, even as families rebuild and try to salvage their possessions or what they can within their homes."

FH is asking you to support their work in the Philippines. Since this is an unplanned emergency, they could really use financial help. "I would request that people would go to our Web site, http://www.FH.org.

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